perry county literacy council


I am so incredibly grateful for the work PCLC does for our community! The staff is kind and selfless, and the world is a better place because of it. Keep doing what you do!
— Board Member Samantha Bise
Sam Bise Head Shot.jpg


During his 2017 visit to PCLC, Govenor Tom Wolf said that “PCLC was a place for second chances.”


Our Mission

The mission of the Perry County Literacy Council (PCLC) is to provide educational programs for Perry County residents and their families that will enable them to better function as productive, responsible citizens. All of our programs are 100% free; we tailor our instruction to the individual’s needs and deliver it via one-to-one tutoring and small classes.

We at PCLC recognize that, with frequent advancements in technology, the American job market is changing rapidly, and having a formal education is more crucial a requirement now than ever in the employment process. We know that the people who walk through our doors are experiencing various barriers to learning and achievement—ranging from histories of substance or physical abuse to minor infractions of the law—which they wish to overcome.

PCLC firmly believes in solving problems and helping people overcome obstacles on the path to success; therefore, we provide our students with both the resources and the personal attention they need to both attain their career certifications and put them to practical, real-world use. Our vision statement – “Overcoming Barriers to Career Pathways through Adult Education” – serves as a summation of this philosophy.

Our Guiding Principles

  • We provide residents of Perry County with high quality adult education programs in alignment with state and federal standards, ranging from adult basic literacy to high school equivalency and including instructional models that address each of our students’ unique needs at no cost to them.

  • We are committed to the ongoing development of programs aligned with state and Federal Standards that offer sustainable, portable credentials and skills that support career pathways for students living below the poverty line.

  • We maintain ongoing program improvement and professional development for programs that align with state and federal standards and support community needs.

  • We value and address every Perry County resident’s request for services aligned with literacy at the appropriate level of need with a high-quality participant-service model that supports the desired outcome.

  • We respond to the need for local access to programs and services in a rural community by maintaining a capacity-building model that supports the unique needs of rural residents.

  • We support leadership that pairs adult education with workforce development programs that help students attain goals - including (but not limited to) family-sustaining wages and benefits supporting self-sufficiency.

  • We support collaboration without competition, as well as the alignment of partnerships with common goals.

  • We support resource-sharing projects that maximize the use of money allocated to Perry County and support future funding with outcomes aligned with a reduction in unemployment and reliance on public assistance.

  • We maintain working relationships with numerous communities within Perry County, including social service, business, Pre K – 12 education, childcare, healthcare, and faith-based/nonprofit organizations.


Overcoming Barriers

Serving 100+ Perry County residents per year, the Perry County Literacy Council has served Perry County for more than 30 years, moving people up from dependency to self-sufficiency with credentials that support family sustaining wages and benefits. A strong and effective referral component supports case management, social services and funding streams that address barriers to
individual goal attainment.

contact PCLC ▸

FAQ's for Students

How much do classes cost?

At PCLC, we provide all of our services at no cost to the student. The only required payment is one-half of the fee for the GED® or HiSET® exam; the other half is covered by PCLC’s Scholarship Fund. If you are age 17-24 and are enrolled in EDSI’s Youth Program, EDSI will pay for the second half, which will allow you to take the entire exam free of charge.

Where are classes held?

Classes are usually held at the PCLC’s offices, though tutor-student pairs can arrange to meet offsite.

Can PCLC help me find employment?

Absolutely! PCLC offers a variety of job training courses and can put you in contact with potential employers and other career resources that will help lead you to new employment opportunities.

FAQ's for Volunteers

Who do I become a tutor or student?

Feel free to contact PCLC if you are interested in working with us. 717-567-7323

Do you require teaching experience to become a tutor?

All volunteer tutors must have a bachelor’s degree or higher in order to work with PCLC. Aside from this, no prior teaching experience is required.

To teach English as a second language, do you have to speak a foreign language?

No foreign language experience is necessary; all of PCLC’s classes are held in English.


Meet Our Staff


Kathleen Bentley
Executive Director


jerry barrett
Workforce instructor


Kathleen lucky
Prison GED instructor

Leslie Heimbaugh Development officer administrative assistant

Leslie Heimbaugh — Development officer/admin assistant


Lauren Kerlin — Early
Childhood Outreach specialist


Linda Strawser — receptionist/
Office Manager Assistant


Dawn Beaver
Student Tutor Coordinator


Jamey Deiter—Receptionist/
Office Manager Assistant


Charity Stowell


Saranne Miller
student support specialist


Robert Eisenberg — Receptionist/
Fingerprinting Tech


Sara Beck
Data Quality Specialist

2019 Board of Directors:

Glenn Holiman – President 2017

Retired Businessman
President, PA Heritage Foundation
Chair, Perry County Bicentennial Committee
President, Historical Society of Perry County
Newport Revitalization & Preservation Society
Perry County Rotary Club

Kevin Fitzpatrick – Vice President 2017

Founder and Managing Partner, Cnesta Group, LLC
Perry County Economic Development Authority
Perry County Chamber of Commerce
New Bloomfield Lions Club

Laura Campbell – Secretary 2015  

Director, PA Code and Bulletin, Legislative Reference Bureau
Newport Revitalization & Preservation Society
Newport PA Celebrates 175

Janine Farson – Treasurer 2014

Arnold’s Christmas Tree Farm
Army War College Foundation
Narrow Road Church - Treasurer
Penn State Milton Hershey S. Medical Center

Anne Chappelka – Life Member

Retired Social Worker
Perry County Community Foundation
Perry County Council of the Arts
Volunteer, Catholic Charities Immigration & Refugee Services

Lane Partner – Founding Member/Life Member

Retired DHS Social Worker
Perry County Community Foundation
Perry County Council of the Arts

Samantha bise - 2017

Reference Librarian and Instructor, Central Penn College
PCLC Volunteer Tutor
Volunteer Tax Preparer

Andrew Bender – 2016

Perry County District Attorney

Tammy Dusharm– 2017

Attorney, Czekaj Dusharm LLC

Lance Laird - 2017

PCLC Volunteer Tutor
Volunteer Tax Preparer

Jeff Probasco - 2016

Retired Executive
PCLC Volunteer Tutor
Fox Field Airport
Historical Society of Perry County
Perry County Bicentennial Committee

John Macdonald - 2019

Director of Marketing, Giant Food Stores

F. Clay Merris, IV - 2019

Attorney, Scaringi Law

Morgan Tressler - 2017

Realtor, Remax 1st Advantage
Certified Relocation Specialist
Perry County Economic Development Authority
West Shore Young Republicans
Perry County Chamber of Commerce